OFA Bulletin July/August 2009 : Page 1

July/August 2009 • Number 916 Sustainability: A Glimpse of the Past? I by Joe Boarini have been involved in floriculture much of my life. As we discuss sustainability, stewardship, and best management practices in the modern business environment, I can’t help but reflect on my ancestors and how they managed these topics in “the old days.” Historically, greenhouse operations were masters of recycling. Clay pots were steam sanitized and reused time and again. When these clay growing containers became unusable for plants they were broken into small pieces and became paving material for the driveway. Growing media was most often formulated on site by individual greenhouses. Plants that were not sold became a part of next year’s crop. Compost piles of soil and other organic matter became an integral part of the growing media recipe. Fertilizer was applied occasionally and only when needed. We know many of the pest control methods of the past included chemicals that, in retrospect, were dangerous and contaminating. Sometimes, these products were handled much too casually by today’s standards. Technology and innovation have helped us to create pest control products that are extremely safe for both applicator and environment. We utilize modern chemistries, naturally occurring products, and beneficial insects with excellent results as we produce plants of very high quality. At Grande Greenhouse Inc in Indianapolis, Indiana, we often utilized recycling, beneficial insects, and environmentally friendly pest control chemicals long before sustainability became Continued on page 7 overused by people wanting to “cash in” on a fad. We are the “green industry” so sustainability is acceptable for us, even anticipated and expected. We should be leading the way in this worldwide endeavor. Sustainability in the Garden Center S by Sandi Hillermann McDonald ustainability, “living green,” and eco-friendly are all words commonly used in every situation imaginable, and sometimes make them more comfortable doing their part to save the planet for future generations. Here are some examples of what we do at Hillermann’s to educate our customers about sustainability. Small Steps We are fortunate to be located one hour from St Louis, so we Hillermann’s has definitely implemented sustainable practices, but we don’t spend much time screaming it from the rooftops. We do not “toot our horn” locally as much as we probably should to let our customers know what we can offer in terms of education, services, and products. Our goal is to make their lives easier and Inside this Edition... Sustainability: A Glimpse of the Past? Sustainability in the Garden Center CAPITOL LETTERS – A Note from Washington Marketing Basics For Small Business The Ideal Flower Shop 1 1 2 4 11 Combating Broad and Cyclamen Mites Tweet That: Social Networking Optimization Ask the Doctor: Open Up and Say “Aaaah” Factors Affecting the Willingness to Adopt Sustainable Floriculture Practices Floriculture Education: Is It What It Should Be? 14 16 17 19 20 Michigan Floriculture Growers Council Unites State’s Growers OFA Member Spotlight: Stephen Barlow Perennial Secrets Revealed at the 2009 OFA Perennial Production Conference OFA News 22 24 25 30 are able to participate in the Missouri Botanical Gardens’ plastic pot recycling program. The Missouri Botanical Gardens offers a program that turns nursery plastic pot products into plastic lumber, for which the program has received national recognition. Continued on page 8

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